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Futures slump; Microsoft on Cloud 9; Election jabs

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were lower this morning, after Wall Street on Thursday broke a two-session winning streak. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq were holding on to small weekly gains ahead of Friday's trading. (CNBC)

Dow component General Electric (GE) this morning reported earnings that beat expectations but revenue that missed. GE narrowed its 2016 outlook, and increased its buyback by $4 billion. Dow stock McDonald's (MCD) also reports earnings this morning. (CNBC)

Microsoft (MSFT) shares were poised to hit their first all-time high since 1999 in today's trading, after earnings and revenue beat estimates on growing strength in the company's cloud-related business. (CNBC)

Oil was higher this morning, as Russia reiterated its commitment to joining an OPEC-led output freeze. The weekly American rig count is out at 1 p.m. ET. U.S. crude's 2.2 percent decline on Thursday reversed the prior day's similar advance. (Reuters)


British American Tobacco (BTI) offered to buy the rest of Reynolds American (RAI) for $47 billion or $56.50 per share. That represents a 20 percent premium to Thursday's close.

Alkermes (ALKS) shares were surging about 40 percent in the premarket, after the biotech reported favorable trial data for a depression drug aimed at patients who do not respond to standard treatment. (Reuters)

Comcast's (CMCSA) NBCUniversal is investing another $200 million in BuzzFeed, according to multiple reports, valuing the digital media firm at about $1.7 billion. Comcast also owns CNBC. (Recode)

Tesla (TSLA) said anyone ordering a car capable of completely autonomous driving can only use the vehicle for ride-sharing for friends and family or the electric automaker's own car hailing service. (CNBC)

The iPhone maker said it has been buying accessories on Amazon (AMZN) bearing the Apple (AAPL) name, and found that a whopping 90 percent of those are counterfeit. (NBC News)

ISIS attacked targets in and around the Iraqi city of Kirkuk early Friday, a likely attempt to divert attention from the the U.S.-supported battle to retake Mosul from the extremists. (NBC News)


DECISION 2016

Trump and Clinton managed to sit two seats from each from each other and remain mostly civil last night at charity dinner. Though they did trade some jabs in each of their speeches. (NBC News)

An estimated 71.6 million people watched the final debate between Clinton and Trump on TV, the third-largest total ever recorded. It was better than the second match-up but below their first encounter. (Reuters)

Donald Trump's campaign massively increased its expenditures in September, but continued to trail Hillary Clinton's spending and fundraising, according to new election filings. (CNBC)

In an apparent move to embarrass the U.S. over Trump's claims of a "rigged" election, Russia offered to send monitors to American polling stations for the November vote. (USA Today)


BY THE NUMBERS

Over the last three months, investors pulled $28 billion out of hedge funds, according to new data, the biggest quarterly outflow of dollars since the depths of the financial crisis in 2009.

Meanwhile, investors pulled $3.4 billion from U.S.-based stock funds this week. Lipper said that same amount was poured into taxable-bond funds. Meanwhile, $7.7 billion was pulled from money market funds.

There are no economic reports on today's calendar. Meanwhile, Fed Gov. Daniel Tarullo and San Francisco President John Williams both make public appearances today. Williams is not a voting member of the FOMC this year or next.


STOCKS TO WATCH

PayPal (PYPL) matched earnings and revenue. However, investors were encouraged both by a growing number of active accounts, and a deal to become a one-click payment option on Alibaba's (BABA) website.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) reported an adjusted profit of 3 cents per share, better than breakeven estimates. The chipmaker's revenue also beat expectations.

Ericsson (ERIC) said sales of its telecom equipment in the North American market fell during its third quarter, and announced it would cut costs further to account for weakness in its target markets.

SAP (SAP) raised its annual guidance for 2016 on an expected 6.5 to 8.5 percent bump in cloud and software revenue. However, SAP's third quarter profit dropped by 19 percent from a year ago.

Schlumberger (SLB) reported earnings that beat estimates, but 82 percent lower than a year ago. The oilfield services company's revenue fell slightly short of analyst forecasts.

Boston Beer (SAM) cut its outlook after the brewer's revenue fell for a fourth straight quarter. The maker of Sam Adams beer said it was reviewing its brand strategies, amid increasing competition in the industry.

Skechers (SKX) missed estimates by 4 cents with quarterly profit of 42 cents per share. Revenue also fell short. Additionally, The footwear maker predicted weaker than expected fourth quarter sales.

WATERCOOLER

The American Academy of Pediatrics, amending earlier advice, now said it's OK for babies to Skype or FaceTime with grandma and grandpa, and for older children and teens to do some of their socializing, learning and playing online. (USA Today)